Kritika Pandey’s story exceeded 5,000 entries from 49 countries.
LONDON: A Ranchi woman currently studying in the US won £ 5,000 after her story about a Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim boy beat more than 5,000 entries from 49 countries to win 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Award.
Kritika Pandey, 29, was speechless and tearful when she was announced as the overall award winner for “The Great Indian Tee and Snakes” at an online ceremony on Tuesday.
The award is judged by an international panel of writers, representing each of the five Commonwealth regions. The award was presented by the 2020 jury president, Ghanaian writer and editor Nii Ayikwei.
Her story tells of an unlikely friendship between a strong-willed Hindu girl who chooses to love a Muslim boy in India, though not supposed to, mainly at a tea stall. The energy of the fictional work is derived from a few glances between a boy and a girl.
“This is an amazing time for me. All aspirational middle-class people, like my parents, wanted me to become an engineer,” said Pandey upon learning that he had won. “I went to an engineering university and I hated it. In India you can’t stop going to university and change if you are middle class like me, since my father only had a lot of money. I had to finish it. My parents couldn’t pay the kind of education they managed to provide me with. They were very conservative and still are and they wanted me to marry a certain type of boy and have a certain type of life. I just said ‘no’. They are supposed to have had two children and to be living in India. To get this award he tells me he was not wrong. I was following something that was taking me somewhere. I have lived with so much guilt for disappointing my parents. This really made up for a lot of the struggle I went through, “he added.
“Messing around was never an option because so many young women at home would be told, ‘Look, this is why you shouldn’t get too big for your boots,'” she said. “If you, like me, are a young woman of JharkhandThen you must have an immense caste and class privilege to get an education in the first place, and even if you do, you are expected to get married as soon as you finish college. I chose to read and write instead. I am honored beyond words. I hope this helps more people trust their daughters and their dreams. ”
Her story has been published online in a literary magazine. Granta.
Pandey, a wheelbarrow-nominated Indian writer who is in her final year of a Master of Fine Arts in the university of massachusetts, Amherst, the regional winner for Asia had been announced on June 2.
Ayikwei described the story as “beautifully complex”. “I have no doubt that they will create a fantastic job in the coming years,” he said.
Source From ”timesofindia.indiatimes.com”